Ready for fall? Here’s your October festivities

WILMINGTON, N.C. (CAPE FEAR WEEKEND) - As September comes to an end, a fan favorite month begins! A month of pumpkin spice lattes, corn mazes, sweatshirts and the changing of fall leaves. October seems to be one of the top busiest months in Wilmington and below is a list of events to keep your eye on over the coming weeks.

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Now, here’s your guide to making the most out of your October weekends...

Sunday, October 1st

Literacy Extravaganza

New Hanover County Arboretum | 6206 Oleander Dr, Wilmington, NC 28403 | 1:30 – 4:00 p.m.

This fun and interactive program will allow participants to discover new and important information around Dyslexia. What is it? What does it mean for learners? How can I recognize it? What can be done to teach Dyslexic learners? How do I support my own Dyslexic learner? Who can help me when it comes to the school setting and getting appropriate support? You will learn, play and practice, have lots of time to chat, to ask and answer questions, and help develop a toolbox of tips, tricks, and strategies.

Free Fall Concert in the Park

Kentwood Village Seaspray, Wilmington, NC | 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Seaspray Landing & Kentwood Village (near Mayfaire) is hosting a free concert in the field with 45 RPM from Raleigh. Bring your lawn chair, blanket, food and drink and come enjoy a wonderful evening listening to the soulful sounds and singing to favorite contemporary hits. The concert is free, but tips for the band are appreciated! Tip: park on Royal Bonnet Drive.

Galloway Farms Maze Craze

Galloway Farm | 372 Artesia Road, Hallsboro, NC 28442 | 10:00 a.m. - 7 :00 p.m.

It’s opening weekend for a fan favorite corn maze in Southeastern North Carolina. The 13-acre maze has miles of pathways with a challenge, unlike any other maze. Outside of the maze you can experience games, tractor-pulled wagon rides, barrel train rides, live farm animals and more. There’s also a 2.5 acre kid’s maze that contains story trails. Walk along with your children and read several stories such as Spookley the Square Pumpkin and Jack and the Cornstalk. This is a ticketed event and can be purchased on their website.

Wednesday, October 4th

Fall Yoga in the Gardens (Also on 10/4, 10/11 and 10/18)

Airlie Gardens | 300 Airlie Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 | 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Enjoy the blissful surroundings of nature’s magic with yoga in the Airlie Gardens. Practice with a certified teacher on the serene Oak Lawn with a class that is suitable and fun for everyone from beginners to experienced yogis. Pre-registration online or by phone (910) 769-3494 is required to secure your spot for this popular event, but you can bring your mat and/or towel and arrive at the Oak Lawn at least 15 minutes early to pay and complete registration. Park in the general parking area and get directions from the Ticket Booth to the Oak Lawn. Tickets are $14 for drop-in rate or a discounted price for Airlie Garden members.

Thursday, October 5th

Jelly Roll: Backroad Baptism Tour 2023

Live Oak Bank Pavilion | 10 Cowan St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 7:00 p.m.

The Nashville-based rapper will be performing his top hits such as “Son of a Sinner” and “Need a Favor” for the Wilmington area on his Backroad Baptism tour. Just this year, he’s won three CMT Music Awards for one of his most popular songs and continues to rise to stardom with his country-rock songs.

Friday, October 6th

Farewell Summer Jazz Funeral

Kure Beach Ocean Front Park & Pavilion | 105 Atlantic Ave, Kure Beach, NC 28449 | 7:00 p.m.

Join the Town of Kure Beach for their annual free jazz funeral procession to wish summer a fond farewell until next year. The Port City Players will perform jazz favorites to celebrate the end of summer. All are invited to participate in the New Orleans style jazz funeral procession with food truck offering traditional New Orleans cuisine. Don’t forget your fancy hats and finest dress to join the parade!

Musical Salute to the Battleship

USS North Carolina Battleship | 1 Battleship Road, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Enjoy a family friendly evening concert on the deck of the USS North Carolina Battleship celebrating the Battleship’s October 1961 arrival in Wilmington. Expect to hear a musical salute to the Battleship with some patriotic favorites and more. This is a two-hour concert played by the exciting Wilmington Big Band while they play under the shadows of the big guns on the Fantail. Please plan ahead as this unique event will surely sell out.

Torment Haunted Laser Tag (Also on 10/14, 10/20, 10/28 and 11/4)

Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park | 5320 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403 | 7:00 – 11:00 p.m.

Enter if you dare into this special Halloween edition of an ultimate laser tag experience. You never know what might be lurking in the dark corners of an area… it could be a masked figure watching your every move or a ghostly girl looking for revenge. Come test your limits as you navigate through the smoky passageways of their black lit arena while high energy spooky music makes this a one-of-a-kind Halloween thrill. You must purchase a Halloween ticket for $20 per person and call to book a time. Suitable for ages 6 and up.

Friday, October 7th

Wilmington Riverfest

Downtown Wilmington | 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Sunday: 10:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

Celebrated on the first full weekend of October, the Riverfest runs through Historic Downtown Wilmington along Front Street between Chestnut and Orange Street. This free, family-oriented celebration is a two-day event and has grown to be a widely anticipated annual celebration, drawing in tens of thousands of people. Riverfest was created in February 1979, by a group of Wilmingtonians interested in showcasing downtown Wilmington and the Cape Fear River and has since resulted in a cultural street festival that entices locals and tourists alike to our amazing Historic Downtown.

The Saturday night fireworks display is a family and festival-goer favorite. Standing on the boardwalk overlooking the Cape Fear River and the Cape Fear Bridge, you will be amazed at the spectacular light show!

Romantic Masters

Wilson Center | 703 N 3rd St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 7:30 p.m.

Join The Wilmington Symphony as they open their season with Romantic Masters featuring Piano Virtuoso Alon Goldstein. Performing Beethoven’s magnificent Piano Concerto No. 5, the “Emperor,” as well as Howard Hanson’s enchanting Symphony No. 2, the “Romantic.” Internationally known for his performances with heavenly piano and incredible voicing… the show will leave you absolutely breathless!

Barn & Beach Designs Fall Fest

Barn & Beach Designs | 4874 Old Long Beach Rd, Southport, NC 28461 | 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Head to Southport for a fall festival that is fun for the whole family. Expect to see local art, vendors, music and delicious food trucks. If you’re coming from the Wilmington area, make a day trip out of it and ride the Fort Fisher/Southport Ferry.

Bark in the Park

Wrightsville Beach Parks & Recreation | 321 Causeway Drive, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480 | 11:00 a.m.

Mighty mutts and playful purebreds will leap into the sky to catch flying discs at the Bark in the Park Skyhoundz Hyperflite Canine Disc Championships. Everyone is welcome to enjoy this free, unique event and applaud the talented canine athletes. Spectators can vote for the best dressed dog, best dressed team, and dog displaying the most personality.

Pets in the Park

Carolina Beach Lake Park | 400 Lake Park Blvd S, Carolina Beach, NC 28428 | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Come celebrate pets, their owners and pet-friendly businesses at the lakeside Pets in the Park! The family-friendly event usually includes fun like K9 demonstrations, Puppy Kissing Booth, “Ask a Vet” Booth, Pet Blessing, Rescue Groups, Pet Parade, Costume Contest, DJ Mike, DOGA- a half hour yoga session with your pup, Face Painting and amazing food trucks (for pets and their humans). It’s $5 at the door and kids 10 and under are free.

Fall Market

Burgwin-Wrights House | 224 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Enjoy the gorgeous weather and beautiful gardens at the Burgwin-Wright Fall Market featuring over 37 local artists and artisans, homemade crafts and more! Vendors will be scattered throughout their acre of gardens. The historic house, jail, visitor center, and art gallery will remain open for regular operational hours of 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Latte Art Show Down

Azalea Station | 1502 Castle St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

You know those beautiful designs that come on top of your hot cup of coffee? Blue Cup Roastery is hosting an event where baristas from all over Wilmington battle head-to-head to see who can free hand pour the best looking latte art. A raffle will take place with proceeds benefiting Yoga Village and there will also be live music, drinks and snacks.

Monday, October 9th

Billy Ocean in Concert

Wilson Center | 703 N 3rd St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 7:30 p.m.

Enjoy an upbeat evening with GRAMMY winning pop, soul and rhythm and blues artist Billy Ocean. His positive songs with catchy lyrics sung to Calypso Island Beats have captivated a worldwide audience for decades. Sing along to his famous hits like “Caribbean Queen,” “There’ll Be Sad Songs,” and more. Plan ahead this will surely sell out.

Thursday, October 12th

Historic Thalian Hall Tour & Thunder Roll

Thalian Hall | 310 Chestnut Street, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m.

Come celebrate the 165th anniversary of Thalian Hall, one of the oldest US theatres, with a free behind-the-scenes tour showing its unique past and hidden gems followed by the majestic Thunder Roll, an 1858 thunder sound effects machine. Led by docents, you will view the many renovations, storied performers and more before you travel back in time to experience America’s only operating Thunder Roll. Which is when cannon balls rolled down narrow, zigzagging wooden shoots positioned high in the rafters above the stage and that resulted in the cascading rumble that has been imitating the sound of a thunderstorm for generations. This is a wonderful way to celebrate history!

Switchfoot in Concert

Greenfield Lake Amphitheater | 1941 Amphitheater Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 6:00 p.m.

Experience the GRAMMY award winning alt-rock band Switchfoot as they were meant to be heard live, loud and under the stars surrounded by nature! Known for their insightful, uncompromising lyrics played with hard-driving rock and roll beats, this concert tour celebrates the 20th Anniversary of their monumental album The Beautiful Letdown featuring hit songs “Dare You to Move,” “Meant to Live,” and more.

Friday, October 13th

Nick Carter in Concert

Wilson Center | 703 N 3rd St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 7:00 p.m.

Enjoy a stellar night with global superstar Nick Carter who rocketed to fame as the youngest of the Backstreet Boys. With heartthrob status and boyish good looks, his successful career extends far beyond sold out arenas with television, film, and other projects. Bringing his new hit “Hurts To Love You,” as well as many fan favorites from his extensive 30 year career, this is sure to be an exciting show. Opening the show is crowd pleasing Maddie Poppe, Season 16 American Idol winner. Come see why this legendary boybander became a star at age 12 and continues to charm his audiences.

Common Kings: Celebration Tour

Greenfield Lake Amphitheater | 1941 Amphitheatre Dr, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 7:00 p.m.

Have a mystical night under the stars as Common Kings, a group of Pacific Islanders, bring their unique brand of Polynesian reggae lakeside. With almost all of the group first-generation Americans, they have been sharing their mellow sounds for over a dozen years. They will be playing songs from their GRAMMY nominated latest release as well as their chart-topping hits. Also appearing is Jakobs Castle.

The Lodger: Halloween Spooktacular

St Paul’s Episcopal Church | 16 N 16th St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 7:00 p.m.

Come experience Alfred Hitchcock’s 1927 silent film thriller “The Lodger,” with a live organ performance by world renowned concert organist Dorothy Papadakos at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Tickets are $10 and are available on Eventbrite or at the door. All proceeds from the concert benefits St. Paul’s.

Wilmington Boat Show

Wilmington Convention Center | 515 Nutt Street, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 12:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Celebrate the annual Wilmington Boat Show at North Carolina’s most accessible coastal destination. Located alongside the Cape Fear River, this destination show is the largest of its kind between Annapolis, MD and Tampa, FL. An event happening all weekend long, come see and experience the latest and greatest in watersports including boating, sailing, and fishing. The Boat Show includes areas inside the convention center and surrounding areas. Times of the show vary each day: Friday, 12:00 – 6:00 p.m., Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Tickets are required to enter, which vary by age.

Saturday, October 14th

Ocean Fest

Surf City | 102 N Shore Dr, Surf City, NC 28445 | 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Ocean Fest was founded in 2019 and now it’s one of the most well attended festivals in the Southeast. The purpose is to celebrate the ocean, support nonprofit organizations and teach people about ecological threats that harm marine environment and teach them how we can better protect our ecosystems. At the festival you can watch the Vintage Surf Contest and learn about the surfboards from the 1960s and 1970s at the “beach museum”. Visit the Eco Zone, run the Ocean Fest 5K Beach Run, take the kids to the kids zone, shop the arts & crafts at the vendor zone, drink a tasty beer in the beer gardens and listen to great live music. Note: Parking can be difficult, so plan accordingly.

Port City Fear Factory Special Guest Appearance

Hi-Wire Brewing | 1020 Princess St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 6:00 p.m.

Have you seen the movie The Black Phone? A thriller that was filmed right here in Wilmington back in 2021. Some of the cast and crew are coming back for a special meet & greet event and will be walking through the Chapel of Horrors haunted house. A night that is supposed to feel like a spooky block-party between the haunted house, Hi-Wire Brewing and Bowstring. Stop by to endure spooky and strange things and meet a few famous actors in the meantime.

Pam Tillis in Concert

Wilson Center | 703 N 3rd St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 7:30 p.m.

Enjoy an evening with the soothing sounds of country crooner singer/songwriter Pam Tillis who always insists on writing and performing songs that speak from the soul. With more than 30 singles charting on Billboard and ten studio projects, this is sure to be a night of stellar hits. Plan ahead, this will be a sellout.

Fall Skate Film Festival

Satellite Bar and Lounge | 120 Greenfield St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 7:00 p.m.

To support the Wilmington skateboarding community, Friends of Wilmington Skateparks will be hosting the second annual Fall Skate Film Festival at Satellite Bar & Lounge! They invited skaters and filmmakers from all over to submit their footage for a chance to have it premiered at the festival on October 14th, 2023. Although the deadline to submit is over, now you can enjoy the night watching the chosen films.

Brightmore of Wilmington Fall Festival

Brightemore of Wilmington | 2324 41st St, Wilmington, NC 28403 | 11:00 a.m.

Get ready for a day filled with fun, food, and fantastic entertainment at our Family-Friendly Fall Festival. As the crisp autumn air settles in, we invite you to embrace the spirit of the season and create lasting memories with your loved ones. All proceeds from the raffle will benefit the Dementia Alliance of NC, helping to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals and families affected by dementia.

Fire in the Pines Festival
Halyburton Park | 4099 S 17th St, Wilmington, NC 28412 | 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

This free event is held to raise awareness about the importance of controlled burning and educate the public about its relationship to the longleaf pine forest. People can participate in many activities, demonstrations, hikes, hayrides, educational booths, live music, crafts, food and more. The highlight of the festival is a demonstration-controlled burn.

The Groove Market

Riverlights | 109 Pier Master, Wilmington, NC 28412 | 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Join The Groove Market Riverlights for a pop-up market and live music on the Cape Fear River! Shop locally with various vendors selling everything from hand crafted items to boutique clothing. This event is kid and dog friendly.

The Veg-Out Festival

Riverfront Park | 10 Cowan St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 3:00 – 8:00 p.m.

The 3rd annual Veg-Out Festival is back, which is a free event that promotes healthier eating and living for a greener planet. The event includes traditional medical providers, holistic health care providers, organic, holistic, vegan, vegetarian, green, cruelty-free products and information, guest speakers, cooking demonstrations, select arts & crafts, vegan & vegetarian food vendors, non-profit organizations and more.

Beachin’ Car Show

Carolina Beach Lake Park | 306 Lake Park Blvd., Carolina Beach, NC 28428 | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Held every year, dozens of cars of all makes and years are showcased at the Beachin’ Car Show. The event includes vendors, food trucks, and raffle prizes. People are also able to cast their vote for their favorite vehicles, and trophies were awarded to those with the most votes. The event is hosted by the New Hanover County Republican Party

Back Door Kitchen Tour: Residents of Old Wilmington

517 Orange St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Differing from other historic home tours, participants are invited to “come through the back door” and get a closer look at cooking and living arrangements in a wide variety of home settings. Each home has several docents present to explain its history, features, renovations and quirky items, as well as the unique history for special kitchens designed for the homes. Built beginning in 1872, the homes have varied architectural styles with one dwelling designed to be earthquake proof. Though the homes have all been renovated through the years, they still retain many original features such as heart-of-pine floors, fireplaces, exposed brickwork, and period moldings. Eventbrite tickets are available online.

Battleship 101

USS North Carolina Battleship | 1 Battleship Road, Wilmington, NC 28401

Join the fun when special volunteers are stationed throughout the top levels of the ship to help history come to life sharing their expertise about specific battleship subjects during Battleship 101. Some of the areas they are knowledgeable about are the gunnery, radar, sickbay, galley, engineering, and daily shipboard life. Kids and the young at heart can try on helmets, raise signal flags, “text” using semaphore flags, tap out your name using Morse code, and more. This event is sure to interest all ages. Enjoy a unique opportunity to speak one-on-one with someone who knows about what life was like aboard a WWII Battleship. The event is included with Battleship admission.

Outlander at the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge

Moored Creek National Battlefield | 40 Patriots Hall Drive, Currie, NC 28435 | 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Celebrate the Scottish influence during Colonial times with an Outlander concentrated, history highlighted program featuring guest speakers: Christine Lamberton, Museum Director for the Burgwin-Wright House speaking about the popular book and video series Outlander’s connection to the area, and Dr. Kimberly Sherman providing additional information about the NC Highland Scots. Tours will be offered featuring the difference between Diana Gabaldon’s book “A Breath of Snow and Ashe” and the proven Moore’s Creek events. Also enjoy family friendly entertainment like living history featuring Highland Soldiers, Scottish dancers, colonial trades demonstrations, as well as live music from the Wilmington Police Pipes and Drums. This event is free for spectators.

Outrigger East Coast Championship

Soundside Adventures at Wrightsville Beach | 275 Waynick Blvd, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480

Join the excitement of the Outrigger East Coast Championships starting and finishing at Soundside Adventures at Wrightsville Beach. The 12 mile course will include flat water on Banks Channel as well as ocean paddling. This competition is sure to be swift and thrilling to watch, with the after party located nearby. This event is free for spectators and the course can be found here.

Zombie Run 5K and Monster Mile

Long Leaf Park | 314 Pine Grove Drive, Park Shelters 5 & 6, Wilmington, NC 28409 | 5:30 p.m.

Start your spooky Halloween season by running for your life in the first annual Zombie Run! Doomed participants navigate a non-timed 5K course with a flag belt while groups of costumed zombies stationed and hidden throughout the course try to pull flags from the runners’ belts. Participants who complete the course with at least one flag will receive an additional prize. Whether you are “eaten” by the zombies or you escape to tell the tale, all participants will receive a t-shirt. Must be Age 12+ to participate. Zombies LOVE middle schoolers, so it is recommended for their survival that they are always accompanied by an adult.

Another event is the Family Monster Mile, which is a family friendly run/walk where kids bring their Halloween baskets to trick or treat as well as take pictures with the costumed zombies. Families are encouraged to run/walk the Monster Mile together. Zombies will be along the course, showing their softer side cheering on the families as they run/walk.

Sunday, October 15th

The Hampstead Wedding Showcase

Pond Break | 153 Pansy Lane, Hampstead, NC 28443 | 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

For those who have the big day coming up, connect with top-of-the-line vendors to make your special day a memorable one. The event includes prizes, discounts raffle drawings, giveaways, a bridal fashion show, live music and the best wedding service providers in the region. Try to be the first 100 visitors there because there will be a free goodie bag waiting for you.

Swim the Loop and Mott’s Chanel Sprint

Dockside Restaurant | 1308 Airlie Road, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28403 | 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Join the fun or cheer on the swimmers as they start and finish at the Dockside Restaurant. Beginning at high tide to ensure an even tide pattern throughout the 3.5 mile swim. The other race, the Mott’s Channel Sprint, has a mass start at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, and then finishes across the Intracoastal Waterway at the Dockside Restaurant with an approximately 1.3 miles long point to point swim. Swim The Loop and Mott’s Channel Sprint are both part of the annual open water Carolina Swim Series. Click here to see where to park and information about the swimmer shuttle.

SOJA in Concert

Greenfield Lake Amphitheater | 1941 Amphitheatre Dr, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 5:30 p.m.

Enjoy an unforgettable evening under the stars with the multiple GRAMMY nominated group SOJA. This popular reggae band started when the eight musicians began as a garage band in high school and continues with multiple projects charting Number One in the reggae category. They will be joined by Hawaii’s own genre blending group Hirie as well as the Vermont based old soul singer/songwriter and Twiddle co-founder Mihali.

Friday, October 20th

Leftover Salmon in Concert

Greenfield Lake Amphitheater | 1941 Amphitheatre Dr, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 6:00 p.m.

Spend a surreal night under the stars with the bluegrass band who first added highly combustible musical styles of the modern jam band scene. In their fourth decade as a band, Leftover Salmon is showing no signs of slowing down with a recent release proving it is possible to recreate themselves without changing who they are. Their current status as elder statesmen of the jam band scene proves they have been a crucial link by keeping alive the traditional bluegrass music, while at the same time adding their freshly exciting unique sound. Also appearing is Fireside Collective.

Halloween Fest

Maides Park | 1101 Manly Ave, Wilmington, NC 28405 | 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

The Davis Center in Maides Park is excited to hold it’s annual Halloween festival, which is open to all ages. The event will include safe trick-or-treating, games, food and music. Children are encouraged to dress up in their best costume and bring their own bags.

Saturday, October 21st

Port City Fear Factory Fall Festival

Hi-Wire Brewing | 1020 Princess St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Get ready for a family-fun day that includes haunts, scares and live music for the whole family. The Chapel of Horrors haunted house is scaling down the thrill and opening it up to families with kids from noon to 4 p.m. Across the street at Hi-Wire there will be a fall festival with local vendors, food, and games. Next door you can find the live music at Bowstring post festival from 4:00 – 10:00 p.m. Then the creatures come back out to play at the haunted house from 6:30 – 11:00 p.m. Get ready to jump, scream and have the ultimate spooky/fall experience.

FlowILM: Outdoor Light, Sound & Movement Show

Cameron Art Museum | 3201 South 17th St, Wilmington, NC 28412 | 4:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Enjoy an exquisite live light and sound performance with installation by the researchers, artists and scientists known as the Algae Society. This fall celebration will explore the unique aquatic Cape Fear River organisms and their coastal ecosystem by Bioart Design Lab projection-mapping them onto the museum’s exterior walls and landscape interfacing with silhouettes, shadows, and movements of dancers, connected through the medium of sound. Water samples and data from the museum’s pond and surrounding community will make the invisible visible through projected digital light and scales of magnification. The first half of the evening is filled with educational and family fun activities while the second half encourages visitors to meander the museum grounds and interact with the art, experiencing symbiotic worlds of biological and ecological art, biomimicry, interactive systems, and multi-sensory data translation in light and sound. This event is free to attend.

Greenfield Lake Family Nature Walks

Greenfield Lake Park | 1739 Burnett Blvd, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Join the knowledgeable guides from Cape Fear Bird Observatory and their partners for a family friendly fun nature walk! Meeting at the Greenfield Lake boathouse (near the tennis courts) for an informational session beginning at 9:00 a.m. followed by a narrated 60-minute stroll around the lake looking at interesting birds, plants, mammals, reptiles, and other fascinating wild things. All are welcome, no registration required, but plan on bringing sunscreen, insect repellent, water and comfortable walking shoes.

International Observe the Moon Night

Cape Fear Museum of History and Science | 814 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Join a worldwide evening lunar celebration filled with fun and educational activities at the Cape Fear Museum. This two-hour family fun evening has hands-on activities, exhibit explorations, telescopes for moon observation, themed story time and more! Activities will happen outside in the museum garden as well as inside the museum. This event is free along with free museum access.

IRONMAN 70.3 North Carolina

Riverfront Park | 10 Cowan St, Wilmington, NC 28401

With excitement from beach to battleship, the IRONMAN 70.3 North Carolina triathlon will feature a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run. This “point-to-point-to-point-to-point” event begins in Wrightsville Beach and takes athletes along the same fast channel swim. The bike course runs through the coastal countryside outside Wilmington, and the run loops around Greenfield Park before athletes finish in historic downtown across the river from the USS North Carolina Battleship. This event is free for spectators.

Paul Cauthen in Concert

Greenfield Lake Amphitheater | 1941 Amphitheatre Dr, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 7:00 p.m.

Experience an unforgettable night rocking lakeside with country funk, rhythm and blues singer/songwriter Paul Cauthen, one of the founding members of Sons of the Fathers. Proudly embracing his larger-than-life nickname “Blue Velvet” for his distinctive baritone, he will be singing his new hit “Desert Woman” as well as other fan favorites. Come see why Rolling Stone put his debut album on their list of Top 40 Albums of the Year!

Pleasure Island Surf Fishing Challenge

224 Canal Drive, Municipal Docks, Carolina Beach, NC 28428 | Midnight on Friday – Noon on Sunday

Pleasure Island, made up of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Fort Fisher, provides the perfect coastline for surf fishing, and is home to the area’s premiere land-based surf fishing tournament. Everyone is welcome to come and join this weekend of fishing for a chance to win over $30,000 in cash and prizes. The fishing starts at midnight on Friday and goes through noon on Sunday. The awards dinner is on Sunday from noon to 2:00 p.m., for which the awards will then be awarded. Click here to register as a fisherman.

Sunday, October 22nd

Fall Festival & Trunk or Treat

Grace United Methodist Church | 401 Grace St, Wilmington, NC 28401

This downtown Wilmington church is hosting its annual fall festival and trunk or treat for everyone of all ages. In addition to receiving bags and bags of candy, the event will also have free food, a cake walk, games, crafts, face painting and so much more. Throw on your favorite Halloween costume and join the spooky fun!

The Cat Empire in Concert

Greenfield Lake Amphitheater | 1941 Amphitheatre Dr, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 6:00 p.m.

Spend the night lakeside with the reincarnation of a jazz project that began over two decades ago. Their new album, which launches in August, includes brand-new music the band describes as containing “all the elements (and then some) of a Cat Empire classic.”


Hi-Wire Brewing | 1020 Princess St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 2:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Join HI-Wire as they celebrate their annual Oktoberfest. Little German Band and Dancers will be there to set the scene and they’ll also have games, specials, pretzels, live music and more.

Tuesday, October 24th

In Memoriam: A Victorian Mourning (Also on 10/24, 10/25, 10/26, 10/27, 10/28 and 10/31)

Latimer House Museum | 126 S Third St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Get ready for Halloween by discovering the customs and rituals of death in Victorian America. Eerie evening house tours take visitors on a unique journey to encounter death practices, including customary decorations, foods, mourning clothes, and adult and child burial traditions. Parental discretion is advised, and tickets are available online with reservations recommended. Any remaining tickets sold are first come first serve at the door.

Thursday, October 26th

Battleship Yoga

Battleship North Carolina 1 Battleship Road, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 6:00 – 7:15 p.m.

Join Yoga Village for an all-levels practice featuring a stunning backdrop of the storied Wilmington skyline with the beautiful setting sun on the deck of the historic Battleship North Carolina. This individually ticketed drop-in yoga series offers a unique place to practice with a never to be forgotten view. Experience zen like never before. Bring your own mat or towel and online registration is required.

Halloween Ghost Trolley (Also on 10/26, 10/27, 10/28 and 10/31)

Market and Water Streets, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Listen to ghost stories tailored for young children while riding past the historic homes in lovely downtown Wilmington. The horses and drivers will both be in costume, with the driver telling ghost stories without the gore and violence of today’s Halloween to let your little ones enjoy Halloween the way it used to be. Free treats for children, no reservation required. Tickets are $16 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under.

Friday, October 27th

Garden Bros Nuclear Circus (10/26-10/29)

Haw Hill Raceway | 374 Bell Swamp Connection NE, Winnabow, NC 28479 | 4:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

If you’ve attended a Garden Brothers Nuclear Circus event before, you know the excitement and energy of the crowd makes for a truly unforgettable experience. This circus has been entertaining families for over 100 years and takes place under the world’s largest big top arena.

Fourth Friday Gallery Nights

ACES Gallery | 221 N Front St, Suite 101, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Enjoy a Fourth Friday evening when select galleries and studios open their doors for an after-hours celebration of art and culture. On the Fourth Friday of each month, take a self-guided tour to view exhibitions of various artistic genres including oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels, metals, ceramics, music, mixed media and more. Many galleries have featured artists available for discussion of their craft. Maps are available at all participating locations including the Arts Council of Wilmington.

Friday Monster Movie Madness at the Mansion

Bellamy Mansion Museum | 503 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 6:30 p.m.

Enjoy Halloween Monster Movie Madness with an outdoor creature double feature: Little Shop of Horrors and Night of the Living Dead on the historic Bellamy Mansion back lawn. An inflatable movie screen will be set up with ghoulish goodies concessions available for purchase. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets with costumes encouraged. These intense and gory classics are definitely not for children but are sure to be a spine tingling for adults. Come in costume...Come with lawn chairs...Come if you dare!

Ghostbusters Movie in the Park

Wrightsville Beach Parks & Recreation | 321 Causeway Drive, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480 | 6:45 p.m.

It’s time for a spooky outdoor movie at Movies in the Park. After being kicked out of their university, three parapsychology professors decide to go into business for themselves by trapping and removing ghosts from haunted houses. After some initial skepticism, business is soon booming as the original Ghostbusters rid New York of its not quite dead. When a downtown skyscraper becomes the focal point of spirit activity linked to the ancient god Gozer, however, the problem may be more than the team can handle. Bring your chairs, blankets and picnic and find a spot on the lawn where everyone can enjoy this Halloween movie treat for the whole family! The movie is free and there will be concessions available for purchase.

Port City Taste Taco Week

A weeklong event at participating restaurants

Who needs just Taco Tuesday? Wilmington’s flavorful varieties need Port City Taste Taco Week to celebrate this Mexican inspired tasty treat. Sample the simple pleasures of these crispy or soft handhelds stuffed with well-seasoned proteins or veggies, creamy cheeses, brightly colored salsas, wrapped in all manners of tortillas, dressed in thick avocado and chilled sour cream. Experience inventive creations from the area’s favorite chefs with each participating establishment creating a special taco menu. Additional details and locations to be announced closer to the event.

Voracious Rare Beer & Wine Festival

Live Oak Bank Pavilion at Riverfront Park | 10 Cowan St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

If you’re constantly searching for the ultimate ale experience, this event was tailor made for you. Take advantage of the rare opportunity to try the private reserves of 50 of your favorite breweries featuring limited release beers you’ve never had (and some you’ve never heard of) and 20 hand selected wines riverside at the Live Oak Bank Pavilion at Riverfront Park. There will also be light appetizers, live music and brewers on hand to answer all your questions. Come see why this has been called the ultimate beer date night experience. Tickets are $80 with a designated driver at $30. This is a 21+ adult event.

Silent Disco

Hi-Wire Brewing | 1020 Princess St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 7:30 – 11:30 p.m.

You might remember the epic Taylor Swift silent disco that was a sell-out… now it’s time to boo-gie with Halloween silent disco. If you’ve never experienced it before, then here’s a quick rundown. Three separate DJs play different songs through headphones, which you’re given, and you can switch through the different channels. If you’re not feeling what’s on one channel, then you can switch to the next! Grab your boos and ghouls and head down to the taproom for a spooky good time. Costumes are encouraged and don’t worry about singing off key, no one else can hear you…

Saturday, October 28th

GooseBumps in the Grove

Poplar Grove Plantation | 10200 US Highway 17 North, Wilmington, NC 28411 | 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Spend a spooky weekend daytime Halloween Festival at Poplar Grove. This will be fun for the young and young at heart. Featuring tricks and treats for the kids, carnival games and prizes, and a little spooktacular fun. Get ready for fun treats and e-e-e-ks! Don’t forget, your admission includes vintage carnival games, trick or treating with the 75+ vendors, Poplar Grove Witches Candy Chute, Halloween Vignette Photo Ops, Mr. Twister and his fabulous balloon creations and more. This is sure to be a fall festival filled with family fun. The event starts on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Festival admission for ages 2+ is $5, under 2 is free and it’s an additional $5 charge to enter the Haunted Mansion.

Halloween Story Time by the Sea

Kure Beach Ocean Front Park & Pavilion | 105 Atlantic Ave, Kure Beach, NC 28449 | 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Join this magical morning for the annual Halloween Story Time by the Sea. Several of your favorite characters will be hosting storytelling and crafts at the Kure Beach Ocean Front Park. This is a free event that requires no RSVP, but larger groups are asked to notify Kure Beach Parks and Recreation. Be sure to bring your camera and don’t forget to dress up in your favorite Halloween costume!

King of the Island Pro/Am Tournament

Trinity Disc Golf Course | Good Hops Brewing, 811 Harper Road, Carolina Beach, NC 28428 | 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Join the friendly fun of Pro/Am Disc Golf at Joe Eakes Park in Kure Beach on Saturday with the next day at the Good Hops’ Trinity course in Carolina Beach to decide who will be crowned Royalty of Pleasure Island! Both Professional Disc Golf Course Association (PDGA) registered courses are near each other as well as both beaches and historic downtown for plenty of Halloween fun before and after the tournament!

Lighthouse Beer & Wine Festival

Live Oak Bank Pavilion at Riverfront Park | 10 Cowan St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Spend the weekend exploring the world of hops, grapes and grain. For the true beer aficionados, the Voracious Rare Beer Festival is a ‘must attend’ on Friday evening. Then on Saturday, the Lighthouse Beer & Wine Festival opens with more breweries wielding more delights than you can possibly sample. Along with live music and delicious food, all in one amazing venue. Admission is $55 and $30 for designated drivers and includes entrance and a sampling glass.

Seaside Shuffle 5k

Wrightsville Beach Park | 321 Causeway Drive, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480 | 7:00 a.m.

Join the fun with a classic race that starts and ends at Wrightsville Beach Park! This blazing fast, flat course is good for both those who run for speed and those who run for fun. Organized by the Wilmington Road Runners, this long-standing race added an additional award for the largest team of runners. So, get your all friends together, sign up, and get ready to run!

SPOOKtacular Halloween Bash

SeaWitch Café & Tiki Bar | 227 Carolina Beach Ave N, Carolina Beach, NC 28428 | 8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Get ready for a SPOOKtacular Halloween Bash! This favorite festive night of music, friends, bewitching beverages and spooktacular food features live music with one of the best cash prize costume contests in the area for the top 20 costumes announced at 11:00 p.m. Come in your scariest or funniest outfit for this Carolina Beach Halloween tradition, which happens the Saturday before Halloween. There are no tickets necessary, but there’s a $5 cover charge at the door.


The Eagle’s Dare | 420 N Third St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 5:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Celebrate the return of a huge Zombie filled Halloween party! An exciting Wilmington tradition for over a decade, this is the place to find the most outrageous zombies and more with costume contests, food trucks and the phenomenally hard rocking bands Los Straitjackets, The Phantom Playboys and The Dew Drops! Don’t miss the triumphant return of Zombiefest! Tickets are required.

Monday, October 30th

Night of the Living Dead

Thalian Hall | 310 Chestnut St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Experience Halloween thrills and chills with the classic Horror Film Night of the Living Dead, an epic tale that pits a group of strangers trapped in a farmhouse against an army of slow-moving ghouls who try to eat them. This 1968 American independent horror film written, directed, photographed and edited by George A. Romero is considered by many to be his most influential work. This Horror/Thriller Film is Not Rated: best for mature audiences. Please plan ahead to secure advance tickets for this popular sell-out event, which is a two night show on the 30th and 31st.

Lauren Schuster

Lauren Schuster

Lauren joined WECT in September of 2022 as a multimedia journalist/reporter. Lauren grew up in a suburb of Chicago and graduated from Western Michigan in 2022 with a degree in broadcast journalism. While attending school, she interned at WOOD-TV 8 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She also worked as a lifestyle reporter for Rose Tv in Rosemont, Illinois.